THE ANIMAL SACRIFICE SYSTEM
How the animal sacrifice system of the old testament began seems to be one of the most fascinating mysteries in religious history. In order to understand any mystery in the great controversy between good and evil, we must go to the cross and stand in its light and glory.
When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple that separated the holy place from the most holy place was torn in two from top to bottom just as Jesus’ flesh was ripped and torn from his head to his feet, Matt. 27:51. His tearing was total and complete so that our healing might be total and complete. “With his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah. 53:5.
The Bible tells us God never changes, Mal. 3:6. The question we must answer then, is, whose idea was it to kill poor, dumb, innocent animals, if God does not kill? The answer will be clear enough for those who wish to believe. As we have seen throughout this book there has been a progression of thought and information leading us to more and more understanding about God’s true character of love. The prophet Daniel predicted that in the last days this would happen. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Dan. 12:4. Many believe this is referring to the increased knowledge in science and industry such as the invention of the telephone, electric lights, automobiles, airplanes, radio and TV, etc. But what this is referring to specifically is an INCREASE IN KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. Dan 12:3, 10 refer to the “Wise,” who will be shining “as the brightness of the firmament,” and will be the only ones who “understand,” or know what is going on in the last days. This is one of the 24 designations I spoke of in chapter 25. The Wise and the Elect are titles for the same group of people, the Barley. Jesus called them the “righteous” who at the time of the Harvest would “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matt 13:43. So the spiritual journey of God’s people is one of progressive joy, understanding and increased knowledge about our wonderful heavenly Father. “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.
As we find out more and more truth about God we will also discover the truth about Lucifer, the fallen angel who is our sworn enemy, the devil. Jesus revealed to the Jews that he was their real father. “You are of your father the devil; and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him; for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.” John 8:44. Amplified.
Most Christians today know very little about their enemy the devil and that is why he has been able to wreak havoc in the church and the world because he is always posing as an angel of light. We know from Zechariah 3:1-3, that wherever the Lord is, Satan is right there on the scene to resist, oppose and slander everything our heavenly Father is trying to do for us. His hatred knows no bounds. “Then the guiding angel showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord (Christ), and Satan standing at Joshua’s right hand to be his adversary and to accuse him.” Amplified.
We know from the first two chapters of the book of Job that Satan claims to be the representative from planet earth who is “going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” Job 1:7. I Peter 5:8 expands our knowledge on this point by explaining that Satan truly is our “adversary” who like “a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”
2 Corinthians 4:4 refers to Satan as the “god of this world” who has “blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” We know that Satan’s goal is to be worshiped by the entire world, which would mean that he must deceive everyone into thinking that he himself is God. And this will be part of the final deception when he finally sits in the “temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thess. 2:4. But it is all for the purpose of destroying as many people as possible. Jesus revealed that this has been his modus operandi from “the beginning.” If this be true, then we should be able to discover something in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve first fell, because that is where all the trouble in the world began in the first place.
Beginning in 1992 the Lord led me to research and write an article about the “THE BROKEN AND FORGOTTEN LAW OF GENESIS ONE.” Other articles followed which expanded on this theme and have been printed in a 101 page book (8 1/2 x 11) I have entitled “The Mystery of God’s Will Revealed in the Plan of the Ages,” now in its third edition. In chapter 5 of this book I included an article entitled, “UNDERSTANDING THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT EDEN AND GOD’S ETERNAL PLAN.” All of this knowledge has come to me since 1982, when the first edition of “INTO THE FATHER’S HEART,” was first published, so that is the reason I am including as much of this information in this updated and revised edition you now have in your hands. A knowledge of God is ongoing and progressive as one writer has so eloquently expressed it: “In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new. When Christ desired to open to His disciples the truth of His resurrection, He began ‘at Moses and all the prophets’ and expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.’ Luke 24:27. But it is the light which shines in the fresh unfolding of truth that glorifies the old.” Christ’s Object Lessons, pg 127.
Acts 3:21 tells us that before Jesus can return there must be a “restitution of all things,” or a restoration of a knowledge of God that has been lost since the days of Adam when he and Eve fell, not only losing their robe of celestial light, righteousness and innocence, but of the true knowledge of God’s love. And that is why Jesus had to come to restore this knowledge to us. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” John 17:3. He came to show the mercy and love of the Father which Adam and Eve lost. But why did they lose it? Because they became afraid. But why were they afraid? Ah, that is the question which will unlock the mystery of the animal sacrifice system, the theme of this chapter.
Here is a text which will help us in our search for the truth. “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against Me.” Hosea 6:6, 7. The phrase “like men,” in the marginal reading reads “Like Adam.” We know that Adam was the first man to begin killing animals. But why? If the true God never commanded any animals to be slaughtered where did the idea come from? Jeremiah 7:21, 22 clearly tells us the true Lord never spoke such a command to kill or sacrifice His own creation. And Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice. So, that leaves only one voice left which would be that of the fallen angel, Lucifer or Satan.
And that is the voice Adam listened to in the Garden who caused him to become afraid. “And he (Adam) said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Gen 3:10. What was it that caused Adam to be afraid of God in the first place? The answer is found in Gen 2:17 where the “Lord God” threatens Adam with death if he eats of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Right there is where the “fear of death began.” But who is this “Lord God” who made a law that they were not allowed to eat of one of the trees? Paul tells us: “That through death He (Jesus) might destroy (render powerless) him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:14, 15.
We need to realize that all laws are not from God. Some laws are bad. And this was a bad law. Paul calls it the “Law of sin and death.” “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Rom 8:2. Ok, let’s go back to square one. God created the world in six days and pronounced His work very good. Gen. 1:31. He also gave Adam and Eve (both of them) “every tree” along with all the herbs for food. He gave them dominion over all the earth. He withheld nothing. And then it says that He rested on the 7th day Sabbath and blessed it. Gen 2:1-3. This is the first version of the creation story. Let me also mention that throughout the Bible there are “couplets,” which means two versions of the same story. You will find this in Genesis 15 and 17 as well as in the Chronicles where many of the stories recited in 1st and 2nd Samuel are repeated with some variations and differences. For example, you have the story of David numbering Israel in 2 Sam 24:1 where it says the Lord moved (incited) David to number Israel (take a census to see how many men were eligible to go to war against David’s enemies). But when this same story is repeated in I Chronicles 21:1 you find that it says “Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” The first account is recorded about 1035 BC and the second one 500 years later, in the days of Ezra, about 535 BC. So, here we have, in the last book of record of the Old Testament, a final interpretation of this remarkable incident and the inspired author of this history sees that the Lord who “moved or incited David” was not the true Lord, but was in fact the devil or Satan, the adversary lord god Yahweh. An incredible difference to be sure, which opens up a window into what is going on behind the scenes. It reveals that there are two Lords operating in the Old Testament but one of them is an impostor, a counterfeit, gestapo, pretender lord or god.
And that is precisely what we have in the book of Genesis. Two versions of the same story. In the first version God creates everything in an orderly fashion. Adam and Eve are spoken into existence on the sixth day together, at the same moment in time. But in the second version there is a counterfeit “Lord God” who creates Adam first and then puts him into some kind of sleep or trance similar to what was done to Abram in Gen 15. Eve is brought forth from one of Adam’s ribs thanks to a quick surgical procedure. This pretender lord god is also an Indian giver, taking back one of the trees and then threatening Adam with death if he eats of it. If you believe God does not destroy you would immediately be able to detect this deceiving lord god as an impostor.
When we come to chapter 3 the true character of this imposter lord god is fully revealed. No Hollywood movie or fairy tale has ever been able to compete with this ageless story of what we know as the “Temptation and Fall.” But who is the tempter? Remember that Ezekiel 28:13 reveals that Lucifer (under the title here as the King of Tyrus) was in the Garden of Eden, not as a serpent, but as the deceiving, counterfeit lord god. Now, let’s deal with the serpent first.
By all accounts I have ever read about this serpent, it was the most intelligent and loveliest of all the creatures God had made. So, let’s be clear about one thing. The serpent was not an evil creature before the fall. It was in fact, the most beautiful creature of all. The question we must answer is, who is using this creature as a medium to speak to Eve? Is it the devil as we have always thought, or could it be that God Himself chose to speak to Eve in this manner. Did the Lord ever do this any other time?
Yes, as a matter of fact, he did in the days of Baalim “speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.” 2 Peter 2:16; Numbers 22:30. But let us examine the evidence regarding the true identity of the voice behind the serpent. What did the voice using the serpent as a medium ask Eve? This is crucial because the old English here is not very clear. “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” This question was designed to elicit a response from Eve regarding what she believed. The being using the serpent is trying to determine if Eve believes that the law of Gen 2 is a valid law or not. Here is another version: “Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise? And the woman answered him, saying: of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die. And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death.” Gen 3:1-4. Douay Version, 1609.
What this being wants to clarify is if Eve believes that the lord god of Gen 2 is the same as the God of Gen 1. If Eve believes the same voice spoke both laws then the being behind the voice knows that Eve (and Adam) have been deceived. Why? Because the true God told Adam and Eve together, in Gen 1, that all the trees were very good and that they all belonged to them. Now, they have been told that one of the trees is not only suddenly “off limits” but that there is now a death penalty in effect for anyone who dares eat of this tree. No wonder they became terrified and ran for their lives. No wonder their connection with the throne of God was broken, shedding them of their beautiful robe of light, leaving them shaking and shivering in fear, hiding in the bushes wondering when this angry lord god would strike them dead for eating of the fruit of the “forbidden” tree. But who was it that forbade them to eat of it? Was it the true God of Gen 1 who gave them all things? No. Our heavenly Father is not an Indian giver god. So, the law forbidding Adam and Eve to eat of that tree was from Satan, the false lord of Eden, who created the “Law of sin and death” out of thin air. See Rom. 8:1-3.
Now the being speaking through the serpent is ready to reveal the truth to Eve about God’s creation, confirming that it is good and nothing is wrong with the fruit of the tree. The true God of creation never made any such tree as a “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” That is not mentioned at all in Genesis 1. All of God’s trees were totally pure and good. There was no evil in them. Then the “voice of truth” tells Eve there is a “god” or “ruler” (one claiming to be god or Yahweh Elohim) who does not want you to eat of this tree he has put off limits and pronounced evil, because if you do eat of it you will find out he has lied to you because you will not die, for there is no death in God’s creation. “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him.” Psalm 34:8. And when you eat of this fruit and nothing bad happens you realize that this so-called “God” has lied to you. Your “eyes will be open to the truth.” And you will then be able to know the difference between good and evil, which the true Lord wants us to know so we will not be deceived, which is precisely what Paul teaches in Hebrews 5:14.
The early Christians taught that the voice using the serpent was a feminine being. “Then the Female Spiritual Principle came [in] the Snake, the Instructor; and it taught [them], saying, “What did he [say to] you [pl.]? Was it, ‘From every tree in the Garden shall you [sing.] eat; yet-from [the tree] of recognizing evil and good do not eat’?” The carnal Woman said, ‘Not only did he say ‘Do not eat,’ but even ‘Do not touch it; for the day you [pl.] eat from it, with death you [pl.] are going to die.’”
“And the Snake, the Instructor, said, “with death you [pl.] shall not die; for it was out of jealousy that he said this to you [pl.]. Rather your [pl.] eyes shall open and you [pl.] shall come to be like gods, recognizing evil and good. And the Female Instructing Principle was taken away from the Snake, and she left it behind merely a thing of the earth.” “Adam, Eve and the Serpent,” page 67, by Elaine Pagels, of the religion department at Princeton University. It is my belief that this female instructor was the Shekinah glory, daughter of the most high God, Gabrielle, mother of Eve. *See Additional Note #31.
What convinced me more than anything else that the gestapo “lord god” of Eden was Satan is when he turned the pure air of Eden blue with curses upon the serpent, Eve, Adam and even the ground of the earth itself. He also said that he would put “enmity” between the serpent (Holy Spirit) and the woman (church). The true God never puts enmity between people. In fact, Jesus came to destroy or remove the enmity. Eph. 2:15, 16. This is the work of Satan, the fallen angel, our deadly foe. Neither does the true Lord cause the earth to bring forth “thorns and thistles.” That is also the work of the devil. If you wish to go into more depth on this topic you may read my articles on God’s Last Call web site at: www.godslastcallministries.org and order my books which are listed in my quarterly newspaper.
We know that it was Satan who degraded that once beautiful serpent to what has become, to most people, one of the most loathsome, feared and hated creatures in the animal kingdom. It certainly wasn’t God’s idea. No. The Bible tells us that the serpent represents Satan, Rev. 12:7-9. Besides, God only gives good gifts to us, James 1:17. But we must remember that there are two serpents in the Bible. The one representing goodness and truth is the one which is above the ground, as in Numbers 21:6-9, on a pole which the true Lord commanded Moses to make so the people could look at it and be healed. We know the true God would not command Moses to make a symbol of the devil to look at to be healed. Nor would Jesus tell Nicodemus that He was going to become the serpent again in John 3:14 to bring healing to all who would look at Him as they did in Moses day. When the serpent is up off the ground in the tree or on a pole or in Moses hand, as in Pharaoh’s courts, it represents the healing power of God, but when it is crawling around biting people it represents Satan.
We know that the tree of knowledge of good and evil could not have been God’s original idea to tempt Adam and Eve, for the Bible tells us God does not mix good with evil. Only good comes from God. Evil comes from Satan. Furthermore, James 1:13 tells us God does not tempt anyone with evil. Why then would He need a tree in His garden with evil in it? Since God created everything in the garden perfect and very good, then the tree of knowledge of good and evil was not God’s idea. This perfect tree was used and perverted by the “ENEMY” just as he perverted himself and cursed and degraded the innocent serpent. He did this also with the good wheat field. Matt. 13:28 tells us that Jesus recognized the enemy’s hand in perverting his wheat field. “Sir didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, ‘AN ENEMY HATH DONE THIS:’” Isn’t this exactly what happened in the Garden of Eden? Yes, it is. God created a beautiful garden and Satan sowed his tares or seeds of evil. After Adam and Eve fell, he was able to not only pervert God’s good trees, but to even plant his own evil trees. Jesus commented on this by saying, “Every plant, which my Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” Matt. 15:13. Compare Ps. 7:15. The thorns and briars and all hurtful and noxious plants are from Satan. God never created any such thing.
From the very inception of Satan’s rebellion the Father’s policy has been to give each creature free choice. This free moral agency is never rescinded or taken away, for God doesn’t take back his gifts. “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Rom. 11:29. Another translation uses the term “IRREVOCABLE,” (MLT) and the LB says, “For God’s gifts and his calling can never be withdrawn; he will never go back on his promises.” God’s gifts are His blessings. Under inspiration Balaam said, “…He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.” Num. 23:20: Compare also Ps. 89:34, Mal. 3:6, Heb. 13:8. When we apply this principle to God’s loving character we can see that God is forever the same. He has never been anything but pure, total love. It is impossible for him to kill just as it is impossible for him to lie. Heb. 6:18. God never uses force or coercion. He doesn’t have to, for man always proves God just no matter what device man may scheme up to evade God’s loving commands and warnings which are for our own best good.
When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, which in and of itself was not harmful, they thought they had done something wrong and reacted accordingly. Adam believed Satan’s lie that there was death in the tree and became afraid. This caused Him to distrust His Maker. Eve fell into the same trap. It was then that their connection with God was broken and they lost some kind of light, heat or radiance which clothed them. Their fear led to distrust and lack of faith, which extinguished that light because it broke the electrical light connection in their brain by which God had infused His very life and presence into their minds and bodies.
Christ came to re-light the fire of His Father’s love in man’s heart, which the doubt and disobedience of Adam had extinguished. Paul tells us the kind of body we will have in the resurrection, Philippians 3:20, 21. It will be a glorious body just like Jesus had, and still has, after He arose from the tomb. When Jesus arose from the dead, He no longer needed earthly garments for the Bible tells us he had very neatly laid them aside, Luke 24:12; John 20: 5-7. Yes, He arose with that glorified, heavenly body, which could be handled and touched, and could even eat food, Luke 24:36-43. And it is this very “same” Jesus which angels told the disciples would come again in the clouds of glory, Acts 1:9-11. Furthermore, this “same” Jesus appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos and notice how John describes His appearance. “…His countenance was as the sun shining in his strength.” Rev. 1:16. This description is similar to Luke’s account of the transfiguration when “His countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.” Luke 9:29.
After the resurrection Jesus had that inner glow from His Father’s throne of glory which actually seemed to radiate out from His face and body. But, Jesus veiled this glory from His disciples so they would be able to stand in His presence. Moses had to veil his face when he came down from the mountain, Exodus 34:25-33. Moses was not even aware that his face shined. These scripture references give us an idea what kind of body we will have in the resurrection. Paul calls the resurrection body a “spiritual body,” I Cor. 15:44. Nevertheless, it is a real body that can be seen, felt and eat food. But there will be no bodily wastes as we have now, since the food will be completely assimilated or digested and turned into energy. The metabolism will be perfect and complete. All things will be made new again as God made them in the beginning. Eden will be restored. “And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” Micah 4:8; See also Isa. 30:26 where it indicates the sun will be seven times as hot as it is today and the moon will be as hot or bright as our sun is today.
Before they sinned they were polarized naturally toward the Father, drawn to His throne of mercy and love by the bright beams of glory which emanated forth from His eternal presence. But as soon as they believed the words of the serpent, which was Satan, their polarity was reversed and they were now drawn to him. They would now be susceptible to his suggestions and under his control to do his bidding unless something was done to interfere with his plans. Since Lucifer (Satan) himself was a created being (Ezekiel 28:15) he would not fully realize the ultimate consequences of what he was doing. The on looking universe, also filled with created beings, would need a demonstration to fully understand the malignity of sin, which was simply the transgression of God’s eternal law of love, which issued from His very heart.
God had declared that the “WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH,” Rom, 6:23. Satan challenged this before the universe. He was claiming that God was a liar. Because God’s very nature is love, He could not allow his creatures to bear the penalty of the broken law, which was eternal death. Therefore, a plan was devised whereby the Creator Himself would take the full penalty of the law, that is, suffer the physical and mental and emotional consequences of the law Himself. By doing this He would be able to shield the creatures and creation of His love from the penalty of the law long enough so they could see what sin will do and choose to listen to Him instead of to Satan, if they so desired. He would not force them. He will not force us today, for He has too much love and respect for our individual freedom.
Adam and Eve’s minds were completely darkened and alienated from the Father’s love. They hid from Him because their minds were now under the influence and control of the evil one. In a sense they didn’t even have the power of choice anymore. Their brains had somehow been short circuited and they were unable to think straight. The electrical connection or light connection they had with their Creator was burned out perhaps like an alternator and the battery could not be recharged.
Adam and his wife Eve were now basically puppets on a string. They were like robots or automatons with no power to choose for themselves. Satan manipulated them at his will and fancy most of the time. But the Father set in motion a plan that would help them to resist Satan’s power so they could call upon their Creator, if they chose. A promise was made that Satan’s control over them would eventually be completely broken through Jesus’ death on calvary.
Satan’s power to deceive would be taken away by the life and death of Jesus. The woman represents the church, or God’s people who keep the law through His power. Jer. 6:2; 2 Cor. 11:2. The following Scriptures speak of Christ and His people “bruising” Satan under their feet and putting “all enemies under His feet.” Rom. 16:20; I Cor. 15:25. Ephesians 6:15 and Rom. 10:15; Isa. 52:7 speak of the feet as being “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” and of “beautiful… feet…that preach the gospel of peace.” This makes it crystal clear that the taking away of Satan’s power to deceive and lead people astray is accomplished by the preaching of the gospel to the world. When evil men resist and reject the message they are only destroying themselves by doing so in the process.
Let us prove this to ourselves more clearly as we read another prophecy. “For behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. In that day (the day of Christ’s return) the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword (the Bible or Word of God through his people) shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.” Isa. 26:21; Isa. 27:1.
Satan is leviathan, the crooked serpent and the dragon. Rev. 12:7-9. These passages and the interpretation we have put on them is consistent and in harmony with the way we have been interpreting God’s dealings with Lucifer and all of his followers throughout the great controversy. It is the light of God’s loving and eternal word that will destroy Satan and all of his hosts, and this light emanates from the law of God which is a transcript of His very character. It is the light from this law, which is the very mind of the Father and His Son, that must shine into our hearts and lives to reveal our defects of character so we may, through His power, overcome every sinful trait and tendency. When we refuse to be drawn to Him, we die in our sins. Jn. 8:24.
Light has ever been a symbol of the Divine presence. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isa. 60:1. Notice the word glory is used here in connection with the command to arise and shine. This is an end time prophecy which is coming to pass right now, for verse 2 speaks of the darkness that will envelope the earth at the very time this message will be given; which of course will only make it shine with even greater radiance and giving it more visibility than ever.
Our wonderful heavenly Father is the source of all light. That is the reason why only the Son of God, who stood in the light of His Father’s eternal presence could reconcile us to the Father’s throne from whence flows all life and light and love. Jesus was symbolized by the ladder (Gen. 28:12) which connected heaven and earth. John the beloved said of him; In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4. Additional texts to look up on the subject of light and life in Christ are: John 5:24-26; John 6:35; 6:40; 6:51; 6:53; 6:63; 8:12; Rom. 5:10; Col. 3:4; 2 Tim. 1:10.
Soon after Adam and Eve sinned, their beautiful robe of light began to fade and they realized that they were naked, Gen. 3:7. They had listened to the wrong voice and their light began to go out. As soon as they believed the lie that something was wrong with God’s creation, something happened to them. An inner glow in them was extinguished which before had radiated an aura of light out from their bodies and formed a beautiful and holy robe of light around them so they didn’t need clothing. This would also explain the radiance in Moses’ face when he came down from Mount Sinai, Ex. 34:30, and Jesus’ experience when he was transfigured, Matt. 17:2. “And his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Jesus was the second Adam to re-connect us to the Father’s throne.
Just as soon as Adam and Eve broke the covenant of Gen 1 by doubting God’s love and harmless character, they blew all their fuses and circuits, breaking their electrical or light connection with God, and the light in them began to fade out until they realized they no longer had a robe of light and were “naked.” The message to the Laodicean church is very interesting at this point. Christ is rebuking them in love and trying to convince them that they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Rev. 3:17. And then He begins to give His Father’s heavenly counsel to them. “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.” Rev. 3:18.
Whenever angelic or heavenly beings visit the earth men are afraid. John the Baptist’s father, Zacharias, is one example (Luke 1:12) and the shepherds are another, (Luke 2:9). The Bible says the Shepherds were “sore afraid.” Why this fear? Man in his pre-fall state, with the light of God’s presence shining in him, was in perfect physical, mental and spiritual harmony with his Maker. He was on the same frequency. His electrical vibrations were on the same wave length and rhythm as his Creator. There was no fear or incompatibility. There was no decay, no corrosion, no dust, no deterioration or death. But just as soon as Adam ate of that fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden, and believed that there was something wrong with it, when there was nothing wrong at all (that was the lie that broke his light connection with the Father’s throne) their bodies began changing from an anionic state down to a cationic state.
The very matter of their beings began to break down, deteriorate, decay, grow old and die. But was God responsible for this? No. Satan did it, but man cooperated and sin entered our world. In order to understand this more clearly, let us again go to the life of Jesus. He took on a body of flesh like our own and lived a perfect life of obedience to the Father’s will. That perfect will is expressed in the perfect law of God, Ps. 19:7. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” It is the perfect law of life and love from our loving Father above. By placing that law in our hearts, He is placing His very own character in our minds. This is what happened in the life of Jesus so we would have an example to follow. His reward on that resurrection morning was a new body; an anionic physical being that was not subject to time, space or matter. This is the kind of body Jesus regained and reclaimed for us through his perfect life of obedience. Phil. 3:20, 21 and I Cor. 15:35, 44—’53. This is what Adam had before his fall. And this is also the same kind of body we will have at translation or on the resurrection morning, if we are obedient to the Father’s law through the power of Christ’s overcoming spirit of love. The law broken by Adam, but kept by Christ.
As we look at Jesus’ life we see Him cleansing the temple of animal sacrifices. Never once did he tell a person to go to the temple and kill an animal to wash away or cleanse himself of his or her sins. In fact, He cleansed the temple at the beginning of his ministry as well as at its close. The only time Jesus ever told anyone to follow the law of Moses was in Mark 1:44, and this was not to receive forgiveness, but to receive the priest’s official recognition so that the leper could return to society. It was also a witness to the priests that Christ was the Messiah. The law of Moses included the “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth,” regulations along with the animal sacrifices. Did our Lord Jesus Christ really give these laws or did He only give the Ten Commandments? Let us seriously consider this question. If Jesus never changes, why then did he abolish this whole system of animal sacrifices? Is it possible that this whole carnal system of ordinances was not God’s perfect law, but His permissive will and law, until Christ Himself should come in the flesh to fully demonstrate the Father’s heart of love?
Notice what Christ said in the sermon on the mount. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time… Thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment; BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment (condemnation of self)…Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:’ BUT I SAY unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy cheek, turn the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” Matt. 5:21, 38-40.
HE WAS BEATEN BEYOND RECOGNITION
At his trial, Jesus lived out these principles as He let demon-possessed human beings spit in his face, pluck out his beard, hit him on the head to drive the thorns deeper into his skull, say untold words of ridicule, slander, abuse and hatred beyond computation until his Divine heart of love broke in two. The Bible had predicted, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” Isa. 50:6. Matthew 27 :29-31 records the fulfillment of this prophecy. Isaiah also predicted that his face would not even be recognized because of all His sufferings. “His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” Isa. 52:14.
CHRIST WAS REDUCED TO HUMAN RUBBLE
The mental agony Jesus endured in the garden not only forced blood from his pores, but must have also twisted and disfigured his face so even His disciples could barely recognize Him. And why would the women of Jerusalem be weeping for Him? Was it not because he looked so terrible? His head must have been swollen in many places and his face puffed out of shape from mental agony and physical abuse. He was simply beaten beyond recognition. It was a miracle He could even stand up, let alone try and shoulder his cross. His body was a heap of human rubble. There was probably not a square inch on his body that was not cut, torn, lacerated and bleeding. Oh, friend of mine, He did it for you; He did it for me. What have you done for Him?
Our precious Lord Jesus endured all of this to demonstrate three things. 1) That you cannot kill or quench His love no matter what you do or say to Him. 2) That the sin in our hearts is a terrible malignity that will destroy us. 3) That the law of God is a transcript of His eternal character of love and can never be changed. But more than that the law of God is simply God’s will and love for us expressed in human terms, written on tables of stone, for our hearts are like stone toward Him in our carnal state. Therefore, only as we become Christ-like and receive His divine nature are we able to realize that the real “law of God,” is a relationship between the Father and ourselves and when we come into His presence we no longer need a rule book, because we can look into His face and immediately know what is right and what is wrong and we would never, ever be able to see Him have a hurt or disappointed look on His face, therefore we would always be doing His will for we desire only His presence and His smile. This truly is heaven. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11.
WHAT WAS IT THAT JESUS CHRIST NAILED TO HIS CROSS?
God’s perfect and holy, Ten Commandment law, a transcript of His very likeness and being, and an expression of His ultimate reality was not what Jesus nailed to the cross of Calvary. This law can never be done away, abolished or abrogated. This law was placed inside of the golden ark of the covenant, (Deut.- 10:5; Heb. 9:4), which is a representation of the believer and is symbolic of the believer’s conscience, for this is where God seeks to write His law of love Jer. 31:33.
This is the same law that was given on Mt. Sinai or Horeb. “These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: AND HE ADDED NO MORE. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.” Deut. 5:22. The Lord only spoke Ten Commandments. “AND HE ADDED NO MORE.” The complete and perfect will of God was embodied in that law which was all He gave.
Where then did the law of “enmity” come from? Who gave the law that Jesus abolished “IN HIS FLESH?” when He died on the cross? Ezek. 20:21-26 tells us that God “Gave them …STATUES that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live.” In other words God had to give or allow them to have their own desire. Cf. Ps. 78:29-31. It was given by someone who is “against” us. The Father and His Son have never been “against” us, but always for us. “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Rom. 8:31. There you have it. No matter how many people may be against us, God will always be for us. And His love and protection is greater than all of their hatred and enmity.
Paul tells us that we must “wrestle…against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high (heavenly) places.” Eph. 6;12. He specifically states that we are not wrestling with “FLESH AND BLOOD,” and so we know that our enemy is Satan the destroyer. And yet God’s holy angels, nor Christ Himself ever bring “railing accusation(s) against them before the Lord.” 2 Pet. 2:11; Jude 9. God is never an accuser, never a destroyer. He is never against anyone, but always for all of His creatures, even Lucifer (Satan) and all of His hosts. Yet, He holds them in check so as to protect us from them and them from destroying each other. It takes the divine nature of Jesus to understand such love.
Although we have Moses’ testimony that he never added anything to the Ten Commandments, there is further proof from the Scripture that God did not speak the animal sacrifice system on Mt. Sinai nor any of the laws that were abolished when Jesus died on the cross. These were the laws that were put in the “side” of the ark, not inside. “And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book… that Moses commanded the Levites …take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.” Deut. 31:24-26.
ANIMAL SACRIFICES WERE NOT COMMANDED BY GOD
Notice carefully, friend of mine, that it was “THIS BOOK OF THE LAW,” that was a “WITNESS AGAINST,” them. It was not God who was against them or even His Ten Commandment law that was against them, for it is the Ten Commandments that He seeks to write in our hearts, that is the Spirit of the law…His love, and which is a transcript of His very own character. No, the law of God is not “AGAINST’ us, for God would not give us a law that would be against us, for Paul concludes about the Ten Commandments, “wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. BUT SIN, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Rom. 7:12-14. But God’s Ten Commandment law brings us to perfection when we let Him write it in our hearts, that is the true Spirit of that law, in Jesus, not the letter of it, for the letter kills but the Spirit (Holy Spirit) gives us life. Psalm 19:7.
Now let us take Jeremiah’s testimony about the animal sacrifice system. “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifice and eat flesh.” (The LB says, “Away with your offerings and sacrifices.”)
“For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.” Jere. 7:21-24.
Notice carefully what God said here to Jeremiah for him to tell the leaders and the people of Jerusalem and Judah. “For I spake not….Nor commanded them….Concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:” Jere. 7:22. And the time period was when God had brought them out of the land of Egypt. So, this is talking about the instruction given to Israel after they came out of Egyptian bondage and received the law at Mount Sinai. The record is clear. God did not speak or command Israel to kill animals.
When Jesus came to planet earth, He announced the principles of His kingdom with the now famous, “Sermon on the Mount,” as recorded in Matthew 5. But on Mt. Sinai nearly 1500 years earlier, God had attempted to give the same sermon, but was not able to do so because of Satan’s interference.
The darkness, lightning, thunder and earthquake at Mt. Sinai were not caused by God, but were reactions to His presence. In other words, Satan considered God’s descent on Mt. Sinai as an invasion of his territory. Satan, the prince of darkness, brought these distortions and freaks of nature to upstage God and confuse the people about God’s real personality and character. Yes, Satan brought those quirks of nature to slander the Father’s and Son’s beautiful name. He also brought the smoke, for God’s presence does not give off smoke, for God’s fiery presence is not a literal fire, as we know of and think of fire.
And yet God hid Himself in that darkness, as we read in Psalm 18:11, which is a description of what happened at Mt. Sinai. Compare 2 Sam. 22. In fact, we read that God came down and rode upon a cherub, and did fly.” Ps. 18:10. Satan was the “covering cherub,” Ezek. 28: 14. Did He allow Lucifer (Satan) to escort Him around in his chariot when God came down on Mt. Sinai? Preposterous?! Ridiculous?! Not necessarily. Read the account of Christ’s temptations in Matt. 4 and you will see that Satan escorted Jesus to a “pinnacle of the temple,” v. 5 and later “up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world”, v. 8. I wonder what Jesus said to Satan as they rode around together? Do you think Christ perhaps told him how much He still loved Him? Do you think that perhaps He even appealed to Him to “get behind Him” as He did later, (Matt. 16:23), which could actually be taken as an appeal to become a follower and supporter of His Father’s cause. Can you conceive of a God with that much love in His heart? I do not think Jesus or His Father have ever spoken roughly or harshly to anyone, even to Satan. Jude 9 indicates that Jesus refused to bring a “railing accusation” against Satan when He came to resurrect Moses from the grave. Friends, God’s angels don’t even bring “railing accusations” against leaders of evil in this world, according to 2 Peter 2:10, 11.
In other words, the angels do not go up before God’s throne and tell all the bad things they can think of against the evil powers of this world. They bear the image and character of God. And to bring “railing accusations” against anyone is against God’s nature and character. This means God’s angels do not accuse or jeer or ridicule or make fun of anyone, even Satan, his angels or the evil men and women they victimize. So, when God came down on Mount Sinai, He treated Lucifer (Satan) with the same dignity, love and respect with which He had always treated him, for God never changes. Lucifer was the first created being. Ezek. 28:3, 4 indicates he had no equals. He was the highest of all the angels. He was the leader and commander of all the angels in heaven, and still leads and commands the one-third of the heavenly host who followed him out of heaven to this earth to set up his base to try and reach the rest of the universe. The cross stopped him from reaching the unfallen words. Oh, how he has broken his Creator’s heart. And so, God came down on Mt. Sinai and spoke His perfect will in the form of Ten Commandments. These ten words or laws were written with God’s own finger on Two Stone Tablets which Moses brought down from the mountain. The record declares, “And He added no more.” Deut. 5:22. Does this mean that God didn’t say anything else? It means that He did not speak anything else to the multitude. But Moses went up into the thick darkness and received what has been called, “the law of Moses.” This was the “added law” which contained all of the instructions for killing animals and regulating the children of Israel’s day by day lives and activities. In many respects, these laws were much more humane than any laws that had ever existed before, and the health code of Moses probably surpasses many codes in our present world society. But, we know that when Jesus came He abolished the animal sacrifice system and stated on the Mount of Olives that we are to love our enemies instead of exacting an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Even the permission to eat the clean animals was not God’s perfect health code, for He desired for them to eat a vegetarian diet similar to Daniel and John the Baptist. So, the question we must try and solve is, who really is the author of the animal sacrifice system?
We know God was in the darkness that Satan and his angels brought, for God only brings light, because “in Him is no darkness at all.” I Jn. 1:5. The universe is looking on. They are watching to see what is going to happen. Are Lucifer’s charges against God and His law true or not? In Exodus 19 we see that God successfully brought Israel out of Egypt in spite of Satan’s efforts to keep them enslaved through his servant, Pharaoh. Now, as they came to Sinai, God came down on the mountain to reveal to Israel His beautiful and perfect character of love, just as Jesus did later on the Mt. of Olives.
“And Moses went up into God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians. (Here God takes the blame for what Satan did to the Egyptians during the 10 plagues) and how I bare you on eagle’s wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. Exodus 19:3-6.
Nothing is said here about killing animals or exacting an “eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth,” for God clearly stated that He “spake not….nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. Jeremiah 7:22.
And of course, Jesus, on the Mt. of Olives said, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:43-45. What Christ is really saying here is: “I never gave that law in the first place. That isn’t the law my Father and I gave. That is not how we operate at all. This is what you have Heard, But I Say Unto You….Love Your Enemies.”
When Moses told the leaders of Israel what God had offered and promised, they quickly agreed to His offer to become His “peculiar treasure….above all people….a kingdom of priests and an holy nation.” This really sounded great! Just think….from slave to God’s special priests….His own treasure above all people in just a few short weeks! Who wouldn’t agree to such a bargain? “Of course, of course, Moses,” they chimed, “go tell the Lord that we will be happy to accept His covenant or agreement. All that the Lord has spoken we will do. We’ll do anything He says. Just get us over into that land flowing with, milk and honey….that promised land.”
But, they did not understand God’s true character of love. Actually, for a few exceptions here and there throughout the Old Testament, I do not believe anyone fully understood the truth about God’s character until Calvary. Even the holy angels nor the unfallen worlds comprehended it all until Jesus was crucified. I Peter 1:12; Rev. 12:10-12. Remember, beloved, that it was not until the death of Christ that the character of Satan clearly was revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds.
And, because they did not understand God’s character they could not understand what it meant to be His special people. The Lord wanted them to be a nation of priests to represent His true character, not only to this world, but to the universe. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” I Peter 2:9. Here are some related texts you may study. Deut. 7:6; Isa. 62:12; I Thess. 5:27~ Rev. 20:6. This last text shows how God’s original plan will finally be realized.
You can imagine how angry and upset Satan must have been about God’s offer to Israel. If the Lord is successful with His plan Satan will be completely exposed to the universe. He will be proved wrong. God is about to lead a whole nation of people into perfect obedience to His law, the very law Lucifer (Satan) challenged in heaven and has said all along is faulty and cannot be kept. If Israel learns about God’s true character of love, they will be empowered to keep His law and Satan will be exposed as a liar before the universe.
Satan must therefore, by some means try and stop this plan. Now, remember that God is continually covering up for Lucifer or Satan. He did this all throughout the Old Testament. It was not until Jesus allowed Satan to “bloody” him up that the universe lost their sympathy for Satan. Christ indicated that Satan would be cast out at the same time He was “lifted up” or crucified, John 12:31, 32. Christ drew “all” of the evil angels of Satan and, of course, Satan himself, to the cross. That’s why there was so much darkness there.
The same is true about Mt. Sinai. Satan and all of his hosts of darkness were there to interfere, interrupt, pervert, confuse, and disrupt the service God was attempting to hold, to prevent Israel and all the universe from understanding the real truth about the Father’s and Son’s beautiful character.
Now, we notice in Exodus 19:10-13 that special instruction was given to Moses to protect the people from being hurt by Satan. They were warned not to come up into the mountain on pain of death. Notice in verse 16 that “on the third day in the morning that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.”
Satan brought the darkness and the thunders and lightning and thick clouds, (Ps. 18:11, 12, Prov. 25:14, Joel 2:2, Jude 12) but God was in the darkness with Lucifer and His evil angels. And God let everyone think He was doing it. A trumpet announced that an important event was about to take place. Notice that God spoke to John the beloved on the isle of Patmos with “a great voice, as of a trumpet,” Rev. 1:10. We know this was Jesus from the description given and also from v. 18, which tells us that He who was dead is now alive. We know also that the dead in Christ will arise from the grave when Jesus descends “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first, I Thess. 4:16, 17.
Next, we read in Exodus 19:18, “And Mt. Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.” Did God bring this smoke? Let me answer that question with a Scripture and then you decide for yourself. Ok? “And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace;” Rev. 9:2. Who is the king of this bottomless pit? “And they had a king over them which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” Rev. 9:11. The marginal reading defines Apollyon as “a destroyer.”
Remember also that the animal sacrifices Abraham offered were divided or cut into pieces and a “smoking furnace (Satan) and a burning lamp or flaming torch (Christ) passed between those pieces.” Gen. 15:17. Compare also Heb. 1:7; 12:29; Ps. 119:105; Song of Solomon 8:6. Next we notice that while the voice of the trumpet continued and increased, Moses spoke to God and “God answered him by a voice.” The trumpet was a call to assemble around the base of the mountain so all of Israel could hear God speak His law or covenant (contract) and also to confirm the leadership of Moses in the minds of the people, Exodus 19:9. The Lord knew that Israel could not be blessed without first knowing His true character. They would not be able to fully appreciate all the good things He wanted to give them. His blessings would be turned into curses unless they first understood what He was really like.
It is true that the voice of the trumpet was loud, but I do not believe that was what frightened the people. No. It was the smoke and darkness, the lightning and quaking of the mountain that scared them. God does not bring these things. He does not try to scare people. His love “casts out fear.” I John 4:18. Satan brought these aberrations of nature in reaction to Christ coming down on Mt. Sinai to reveal His true character. God’s voice is as the voice of “many waters,” like a soothing voice of an angel, John 12:28-30. Cf. Heb. 12:18-24.
Next, God warns Moses to keep the people from breaking through the boundaries he had set up at the base of the mountain. The Lord was so concerned for the people’s safety that he insisted that Moses go back down the mountain and charge or warn the people again not to “break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them;” Exodus 19:21, 22.
The expression or phrase, “break forth,” is very important, for it identifies the “Lord” or “God,” who would kill anyone who disobeyed. The god of “breaking forth,” is “Baalperazim,” Lord of breaches. This is how Uzzah died, 2 Sam. 6:8. Isaiah 28:21 refers to Mt. Perazim, the mountain of “breaking forth,” when all the wicked will die in the final day because of God’s “strange act.” His strange act has been explained already, in part, but for emphasis let us say that God’s strange act is simply when He permits the wicked to see themselves as they really are without any restraints. This leads them to self-destruction or suicide. Saul and Judas are examples. And yet, we know God did everything He could to save them from killing themselves. God has always covered up and restrained the wicked. In the final day He no longer does this. This is a strange act for God. To those who say that God’s strange act is when He kills them in the final day, I would simply ask, what is so strange about God killing them if in fact you believe He has been doing that all along anyway? Besides that, the “god” who acts “strange” or “different” is another god, truly a “stranger,” for the true God never changes.
We know Baal represented Satan. Baal Peor was Lord of the opening. Baal Perazim was Lord of the breaches and Baalzebub was Lord of the flie. Maggots, as we know, are most often found feeding on the flesh of dead and decaying animals or man. They hatch into flies. Satan is the lord of death. He is the death god. Jesus is the life God. Baal or Baalim means master, possessor or husband. Satan wants to get married to us and be our master, lord and husband. How thankful we can be that Jesus has a prior claim upon us by virtue of creation and now a second claim by virtue of His redemptive act at Calvary. Psalm 2:12 is an invitation to get married to Jesus, signified by “Kissing the Son.” The Pharisees accused Christ of casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub (Baalzebub) the prince of the devils, Matt. 12:24. So, Baal or Baalim was a title for Satan. Therefore, the god of breaking forth, Baalperazim, is Satan. Pharez, one of the illegitimate twin sons of Tamar, by Judah, was given his name because he tried to come out of his mother’s womb ahead of his brother, Zarah, meaning dawn or day star, which represents Christ.
The midwife rebuked Pharez by trying to push ahead of his brother. “How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez. And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.” Gen. 38:29, 30. The midwife had tied a scarlet thread around his hand when he was about to be born, so she would know which was the older of the two. But then Pharez pushed himself ahead. These twins are used to symbolize the great controversy between Christ and Satan. Satan is always trying to push himself ahead of Jesus by “breaking forth.”
And so we see that even at Mt. Sinai Satan is trying to upstage the Lord with lightning, thunder, darkness, smoke and earthquakes. But God is finally able to speak His perfect law to the people as recorded in Exodus 20:1-17. This was all God spoke to the multitudes. These ten laws were written on two tables of stone, but the additional law was recorded in a book and placed on the outside of the ark. Deut. 31:26. But the Ten Commandments were placed inside of the ark, which represents our heart or mind or conscience. Exodus 25:16; Deut. 10:5, Ezek. 20:24-26.
Moses then went into the darkness, “where God was,” Ex. 20:21. Satan was there too, but as an “angel of light,” to deceive as much as God would allow him to deceive. Satan was permitted to insert his ideas into the “added laws,” which the people had been living by all along since Adam and Eve fell. These laws included the animal sacrifice system which Jesus abolished by nailing them to His cross. They also included the laws which said, “ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth;” Christ abolished this and other laws by saying, “but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matt. 5:39. The reason Christ gave this more perfect law was so we could become “perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matt. 5:48. Paul tells us to “overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21.
We can do this by heaping fire on the heads of those who are trying to do evil to us as Proverbs 25:21, 22 instructs. That fire is the fire of God’s love. We show it by giving food and drink to our enemies. James also tells us to “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. But we are only able to resist by “submitting ourselves to God,” as the first part of the verse tells us. So when Jesus said we are not to “resist evil,” he simply meant that we are not to fight back and exact “a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye,” because He never gave that law in the first place. And if God didn’t give it to Moses, the “angel of light,” in the darkness must have been permitted to give it to Moses. But God was right there to guide Moses and make sure that even that which was not His “perfect” will would be as humane as possible until Christ Himself should come in the flesh to show us that perfection of character He was not permitted to explain at Sinai, due to the hardness of the people’s hearts. For, Satan can only deceive those who are carnally minded and living after the flesh, as Israel was at that time. But in spite of all the problems that God encountered, He was still able to get enough of His message through to the people so that there was always a “remnant,” who were left to carry on the truth. And now, finally, at the close of time, when the world is coming to an end, He is again speaking to our hearts about His true character, through all the thunders, lightning, smoke, earthquakes and fire of Satan. *See Additional Note #30.
THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD IS GOD’S PERFECT WILL
The laws prescribing animal slaughter were not God’s perfect will. We will discover this as we proceed and learn God’s perfect will which Paul explains in detail in the book of Hebrews regarding the Melchizedek priesthood. This is in direct contrast to the system which had existed from the days of Adam when Satan himself put it into Adam’s mind that he should kill animals in order to get his sins forgiven. The whole system was based on fear because Satan is the prince of fear. God’s “perfect love,” will “cast out fear.” I John 4:18. Satan controlled man-kind so fully through this animal slaughter system that he was even able to lead them to sacrifice their very own children.
When Israel came to Mt. Sinai, God came down to meet with them so they would understand His true character. But, because of their unbelief and desire to work their own way into the land of Canaan, Satan was able to give them what they really wanted. Moses’ understanding of God’s character was also progressive. I don’t believe that he fully understood, at this time, God’s “holy, harmless and undefiled,” nature and character, but it was progressively revealed to him. See Exodus 34:4-9. When Moses came down from the mountain his face “shone,” Exodus 34:29. But Moses was not aware of it. The people were so afraid of Moses that he had to put a veil over his face to speak to them. The Israelites had hard, stony hearts filled with fear. That is why they could not understand God’s true character of love. Jeremiah lamented this and God prophesied through him that the covenant that was made at Sinai was not really “HIS COVENANT.” Notice what God says here. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people:” Jeremiah 31:31—33.
THE KILLER PRIESTHOOD
Paul quotes this passage from Jeremiah in Hebrews 10:16. In fact, the whole book of Hebrews is an explanation as well as an appeal to God’s people in all ages to come into the Father’s heart through the priestly ministry of Jesus who was a priest “forever after the order of Melchisedec,” which priesthood is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;” Hebrews 7:21, 26. The “changing” of the priesthood Paul is referring to in Heb. 7:12 is basically a change from the Levitical priesthood, which was a killer priesthood, to the Melchizedec priesthood, which was a life-giving priesthood through Jesus Christ, our Lord. This meant that a transfer had to be made by all true believers of their allegiance from the Jewish system of animal slaughter to the life-giving priesthood of Christ. It also meant that all of their time, talents and material possessions, which especially had to do with tithes and offerings were now to be given to those priests (preachers) who, like Paul, were preaching the truth about the Father in His Son Jesus Christ. This did not need to be done arbitrarily, for the Jewish nation was basically destroyed in A.D. 70 by Rome. That same kind of transfer is going on right now in the Christian era without any special announcements. God’s true, blue, believers are silently and quietly withdrawing their support from the killer-priesthood to the life-God priesthood of Christ Jesus again today, by supporting those ministers and ministries who are teaching that the Father and Son are life-Gods, not death-Gods.
Let us go again to Mt. Sinai and see how the killer-God priesthood was set up. Paul tells us in Galatians 3:19 that the Law of Moses, in which the sacrificial system is found, “was ordained (arranged throughout or prescribed) by ANGELS in the hand of a mediator go between) or by the disposition arranged by, instituted by ANGELS.” Acts 7:53. Now, we must remember that all of the angels, both good and bad, holy and unholy, belong to God by right of creation. So, when we speak of angels having a part in the giving of the law at Sinai, let’s remember that God’s angels were there as well as Satan’s angels. Let us also realize that even God’s holy angels did not fully understand, at this time (Mt. Sinai) the nature of Satan’s rebellion. It was only when Jesus Himself came and let Satan inspire wicked men to bloody him up that these holy angels began to see the real truth about Satan and about God.
That is why Paul referred to these ordinances ‘’as a shadow of things to come,” Col. 2:17. What is it that causes a shadow? Someone is standing in the light, but not properly reflecting that light. That is what Satan did at Sinai. But God overruled Satan’s hellish machinations and maneuvers and made those shadows point to what Satan would actually do to God’s only Son, Jesus. The Father was warning Lucifer that he would do this, but he would not listen. God built the whole sanctuary service around the killing of innocent animals to make it mean something and point forward to the cross.
Paul further cautioned, “let no man beguile you of your reward (that is of Christ, Gen. 15:1) in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, (in ceremonies to demonstrate piety and outward holiness) intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.” Paul goes over this again in Gal. 4:8. “Howbeit then, when ye KNEW NOT (were not married to Christ, Gen. 4:1 and John 17:3), ye did service (were a slave) unto them (these evil angels) which by nature are no gods.” Here in Gal. 4:8 Paul is referring to the law of Moses (Gal. 4:4) as the “weak and beggarly elements” (Gal. 4:9) of bondage to angels through observing “days, and months and times, and years.” The question is, which angels prescribed or arranged throughout the law of Moses as a remedy for transgressions? There’s a hint or clue to this hidden fact in Gal. 3:20. Notice: “Now, a mediator is not a mediator of one, but (contrariwise) God is one.” The “but” in this verse is the key; it means “the opposite is true.” It denotes a distinction that is in reference to the mediator, that mediator (go between) for these angels was not God, our wonderful, heavenly Father. “Oh, no,” Paul is saying here. “On the contrary. In fact the very opposite is true.” Who then is the “go-between or the “mediator” for the evil angels?
Paul answers this question in this way. “For although there may be so-called gods (that is idols) in heaven or on earth-as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’-yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things, and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” I Cor. 8:5, 6. Yes, friends, Paul is right. Satan and all of his hellish legions consider themselves gods and almost every heathen religion worship Satan’s demons in one form or other in their pagan religious ceremonies. Satan and his devils consider themselves “the gods of this world.” And since the majority of the population of this planet have been deceived into paying homage to Satan, the Bible itself acknowledges that Satan is indeed the “god of this world” who “has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image character of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Cor. 4:4. It is a sad fact that when we “know” or are “married” to evil, we have our eyes closed to THE ONLY GOOD ONE, which is God, our Father and Jesus His Son. Matt. 19:17. All who reject Jesus Christ as their SAVIOR and Lord have by that very choice become slaves to Satan and reap the fruits of it. Stephen refers to the results of such a choice in his speech recorded by Dr. Luke, Acts 7:38-43. Satan and his evil legions want us to share their fate of being estranged from the Presence of the Lord. Misery loves company. The way to avoid that is to come to Jesus and give your heart to Him.
Once a person makes that decision it will not be so difficult to understand where the law of Moses came from. This problem is directly related to man’s inherently evil nature, Jer. 17:9, Rom. 8:7. We are born, legally speaking, creatures of justice, devoid of understanding with regard to God’s infinite grace and mercy. We are born with an innate desire to “get even,” and “stand up for our RIGHTS.” In Rev. 6, the beloved John saw “a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.” Rev. 6:5. That black horse certainly does not represent Christ and His love, truth and mercy. No, it represents Satan’s “Justice” for he is the angel of justice. The angel of “getting even.” The angel of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” Matt. 5:38. Jesus contradicted this law by saying, “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” v. 39. In the days of Job, Satan said to God, in controversy over Job‘s loyalty to the Lord, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for His life.” Job 2:4. Sounds familiar somehow doesn’t it. “Eye for eye, skin for skin.” A frightening voice from the past is identified. It is Satan, the angel of justice. See Exodus 21:23-25.
SPIRITUAL THINGS MUST BE SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED
The problem with regard to understanding where the Law of Moses came from is directly related to our carnal way of reasoning. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned. The Law of God is spiritual, but we tend to desire a carnal law that will enable us to “do” some kind of “work” which will justify our carnality, for our pride and ego refuses to admit there is absolutely nothing we can do to merit salvation. Man would much rather kill an animal than kill his ego or pride. To accept God’s sacrifice instead of something we have done means to surrender our will, ourselves.
Our hunger is for justice, but our real need is for mercy or God’s grace, for if we received “justice,” than we should all be left to ourselves to self-destruct (die by our own hand or the hand of another). Our only hope is God’s mercy. The law of Moses meets the requirements of our desire for “justice.” But it is only GOD’S PRESENCE in us that can ever fulfill our need for mercy. That is why Paul said, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27. The law of Moses’ had in it a carnal method or way for carnal man to justify himself and thus relieve his guilt which he has incurred by transgression of God’s law of love, the Ten Commandments. In this system man would be able to put the blame on innocent animals. The only problem with the whole system was that man would never find out the truth about God. And thus carnal, sinful, guilty man would never be able to become perfect like His Creator. That is why Paul tells us that this terrible system of animal slaughter could never bring anyone to perfection, Hebrews 7:11; 10:1, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” Heb. 8:7, 8. Friend of mind, God is a perfect God. He never makes mistakes. He never has to change, Mal. 3:6. Can’t you see that if God had been the one who had given that animal slaughter system that He would not have had to abolish it? But Paul tells us that God wants to write His laws in our hearts,” so He can be our God. Heb. 8:10. The guilt we incur by sinning can never be cleansed from our minds by killing animals. Paul tells us that there was no perfection in this system. So, why was the system allowed to be set up in the first place? God permitted it in order to let men see what they really were in their minds-brute beasts. Solomon tells us we die like the beasts, Eccles. 3:18, and Rev. 13:18 speaks of men in the end time receiving the mark and the number of the “beast,” which is sun worship in the 666 beast system. That is where the whole world is headed today, friend.
Under the law of Moses you received speedy punishment for any transgression. Paul tells us that the “word spoken by angels was steadfast,” (of force, firm, cannot be broken), and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward.” Heb. 2:2. In other words if that law “spoken by angels” and not by God, for God only spoke the Ten Commandments, Deut. 5:22, could not be broken without suffering a consequence, how much more certain is our punishment, if we break the law that God Himself spoke! “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation;”? Paul asks us. Now, beloved, let us use the spiritual discernment that God has given us. If God only spoke the Ten Commandments and the animal sacrifice system was a system that God never required or desired and if that terrible system of animal slaughter and “an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth” was abolished by Jesus because He never gave it in the first place, then who are these “angels” who spoke or gave this covenant of animal slaughter which God said was “faulty” Heb. 8:7. God’s angels are “holy,” Matt. 25:31 and keep His holy law,. Psalm 103:20. But, Satan’s angels are called “devils” Matt. 25:41. God charges these evil angels which “sinned” with folly. “Behold, he put no trust in His servants; and His angels he charged with folly.” Job 4:18, It makes sense to me that sinful, wicked, foolish angels would be capable of inventing such a system of animal slaughter, for the Bible tells us that Satan is a destroyer and that his angels are “destroyers.” Psalm 78:49. The law of Moses did not have the character of God in it, for it was put on the outside of the ark, Deut. 31:26, not on the inside of the ark, as was the Ten Commandments, which truly is a transcript of God’s very character, which He seeks to implant in our conscience, which was symbolized by the ark. Heb. 9:4. What a tremendous compliment and tribute it is to the wisdom and love of God that He Was able to preach the gospel through this terrible system of carnage and slaughter. In fact, Paul even tells us that the sacrificial system of killing animals was nothing but “sacrifice to devils.” I Cor. 10:19-21.
SATAN DISGUISES HIMSELF AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT
In the thick darkness that Satan brought at Mt. Sinai, God permitted this animal slaughter system to become part of the Mosaic law which was later abolished at the cross. Someone may ask, “Why would Moses write down laws that were from Satan?” The answer is that Satan disguises himself as an “angel of light,” 2 Cor. 11:14. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers (men and angels) also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works!”
In other words, Moses, nor even the good angels necessarily saw anything wrong with these laws, inasmuch as the people were so unruly and hard to deal with. Besides God is not saying anything against Lucifer. Christ nor His Father would not expose Lucifer (Satan), but tempered these carnal laws with mercy as much as they could. They gave additional laws (good laws) and built the sanctuary service around the animal slaughter system to counteract its baleful influence, as well as, to point forward to Christ’s bloody ordeal in the garden and on the cross.
There were many things in the law of Moses that were good. A person has to use spiritual discernment when he goes through the first five books of Moses and tries to decide which laws were given by God and which were the devil’s idea. Remember that God covered up for Lucifer by saying that He gave all the laws, just as He covered up for Him by saying that He killed every person whom Satan murdered. Through Ezekiel, God tells us that He gave “statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.“ Ezek. 20:11. The next verse speaks of the Sabbaths which God said were a sign of sanctification between Him and His people. But in verse 25 God tells us that He “gave them also statues that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;” Obviously, these “bad” laws that God “gave” to them would be referring to the killing of animals and those other laws such as an “eye for an eye,” and so forth. I do not believe that Moses or the holy angels really were able to discern all that was transpiring at this time. It took centuries of observance and finally the death of God’s own Son to fully reveal the insidious treachery involved in Satan’s clever chicanery and subterfuge. Only the Creator Himself could unveil Satan’s masterful deceptions in a loving manner in harmony with His eternal character of love. Imagine! God used Lucifer’s own system to make an appeal to Lucifer Himself and to warn him what his final end would be. Listen to this passage in 2 Sam. 14:14. “Neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means that his banished be not expelled from him.” And the Modern language says, “God, however, does not sweep away life, but rather takes measures so as not to keep the banished away from Himself.” Isn’t that just what God has done all through the great controversy? He has continually devised means whereby Lucifer and his angels could constantly be observing the plan of salvation first hand. God is truly infinite both in His love and wisdom. Eph. 3:9-11.
Even now God is forming His Elect. And when the special number He has chosen fully understand who He really is and what He is really like Jesus will be able to say again, “It is done or It is finished.” Rev. 16:17. I believe that many who have died in past generations will be saved without the full knowledge of God’s character, because they lived up to all the light that they had in their time. If we live up to what we do know, God counts us as perfect. But, if we fail to do what we know is right, then we have sinned, James 4:17 tells us. Out of this final generation God will have a nation of people, scattered all around the globe, who will stand true to His Ten Commandment law, the Sabbath especially, even though we be threatened with death. We will not hate our enemies, but will pray for them. This will be the final demonstration of God’s love. It will prove that the same character perfection the Father manifested in His Son can be manifested in humanity. In actuality, this final remnant is on trial before the universe along with Christ and His Father. We have been called upon to prove that which has never been fully proved before in the history of the world, except in rare cases here and there, such as Job and Daniel, Enoch and Elijah. Never before has an entire nation of human beings been fully exposed to the onslaughts of Satanic fury as we will be in this final hour of earth’s history. Whether we realize it or not, we have been called upon to pass a test that former generations were never called upon to endure. Is it not for their sakes, as well as for Christ’s and the Father’s sake that we prove faithful? Indeed it is! What a sacred responsibility and privilege we have. May God grant us what we need to pass the test Satan will bring upon us, for only as Christ lives within us will we ever make it. Christ told the Jews that He had not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill that law, Matt. 5:17-19. In other words He had come to give it the full and true meaning He wanted to give at Sinai because Lucifer (Satan) interfered and because Israel’s heart was not able to receive it. In reality, Jesus gave the same law on the Mt. of Olives that He had given on Mt. Sinai. Only, this time Satan was not allowed to pervert it with his distortions of nature. Just as the people wanted a king over them in Samuel’s day in place of God’s loving leadership through Samuel, so Satan led the people at Sinai to reject Moses’ and God’s loving character. Satan, as an angel of light, was permitted in the thick darkness to insert his ideas into the “added law” Moses wrote down. As you read through the laws of Moses in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, you can see much good counsel and common sense. Most of our modern laws are based on the laws of Moses. But it was only through the teachings of Jesus that we realize that the added law was for the carnal heart, not for the spiritually minded who truly want to be like their Father which is in heaven. May God help us to not only see this spiritual law of Christ, but to receive it into our hearts and live it, for it is the Ten Commandment law God spoke from Sinai. The Father wants to number us among His faithful Elect in this final hour.
There is much more evidence and we will look at it, but before we do that, let us consider the terrible slander that has been leveled against the Father’s name. It is incredible. Notice what Jesus said regarding His Father’s love for animals. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will.” Matt. 10:29 RSV. Yes, our heavenly Father adores each one of His creatures. He guards them with loving care. Jesus went ahead to emphasize the Father’s infinite love for us. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matt. 10:30, 31. Does not such love call forth a response from your heart, dear one. Oh, how the Father’s heart yearns for you to commit yourself to Him just now. Don’t delay. Come to His open and yearning arms of love right now, today.
Now, let us consider further proof that our Heavenly Father isn’t the author of the animal sacrificial system, nor did He ever require it. “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.” Ps. 40:6. Again we see that God did not desire or require that animals be killed for the forgiveness of sin. The phrase, “mine ears hast thou opened:” also helps us to see that even Jesus’ understanding of His mission developed gradually as He grew in “wisdom and stature,” Luke 2:52. In Exodus 21:2-6 we read about the practice of “opening” or piercing (opening) a servant’s ear which indicated to the public at large that he had voluntarily given himself to His master as a slave forever. This was the dedication Jesus made both to His Father and to us. He loved us so much that He was willing to humble Himself not only to become a slave but to be nailed to the cross as the chief of sinners.
Jesus referred to Hosea 6:6 twice in Matthew’s gospel Matt. 9:13 and 12:7. He asked them to study carefully what Hosea meant, “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.” Jesus also connected this important study with the temple and the Sabbath, two of the most controversial doctrinal subjects in the religious world today, the sanctuary and the Sabbath. Is it possible that a true understanding of these two subjects is impossible until we comprehend the truth about the animal sacrifice system? It would seem so. Here are some more scriptural proofs that God did not require animals killed to appease His “wrath.” “I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds …Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” Psalm 50:9, 13. Now notice what God really wants from His people. “What I want from you is your true thanks; I want your promises fulfilled. I want you to trust me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you, and you can give me glory.” Ps. 50:14, 15. Please notice the phrase, “AND YOU CAN GIVE ME GLORY.” The word glory means character. God wants us to come to Him as we are so He can cleanse us and make us clean and whole. He wants to give us the “FLESH AND BLOOD” of His dear Son to eat. John 6:48-58. Jesus Christ is the Father’s glory or the complete and perfect representation of the Father’s character. Unselfish, self-sacrificing love perfected. This “DIVINE NATURE” is what the Father wants to give each of us through His only begotten Son. Unless we receive it we will not survive the end of this world.
Throughout the centuries God has remained silent and taken all the guilt and blame. He is still doing that today and would continue to do it if it would do any good, but when he sees that mankind is about to destroy itself, He must intervene. True love can not stand by and not try to save life. And so, since the birth, life and death of His only Son, the Father has been revealing Himself more and more. Christ’s spotless life of purity is the greatest rebuke the world has ever had. Satan could not take it and had to kill him. And yet Christ’s death revealed God and Satan even more. Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10) and leads men to speak against each other. God is grieved over this.
“Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.” Psalm 50:20-22.
God is pleading with us here, for we all have gone aside and “become filthy.” Psalm 14:3. Here God claims to be the one who tears the unrepentant sinner “to pieces.” Is that really the way God is or—is He taking the blame for what Satan and man do to other people and themselves? He is taking the blame, for that is His nature and His character to conceal and cover up for us, Proverbs 25:2.
Let us go on to more proof that God did not ask Israel to kill animals. “For thou desirest not sacrifice else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:16,17.
This next Scripture will make more sense and take on a new meaning now, for we can see that even though God never “desired” man to offer Him the blood of animals as an propitiation for sin, the Father accepted this carnal and yes, we could even call it, “slanderous,” type of worship. God was willing to be worshiped at this level and on this basis until His only Son would come and reveal the real truth about Him. But by the time Jesus came, Israel had sunk so low that God would have to use an extraordinary method to reach them.
Even in Isaiah’s day God tried to tell them that to “kill an ox is as if he slew a man;” and to “offer an oblation,” was like “swine’s blood.” God said Israel had chosen “their own ways.” He said they delighted in abomination. Isa. 66:1-4. In verse 1, he seems to indicate He did not even want them to build Him a temple. He was hoping to dwell in their hearts.
They were under the control of the “DEATH GOD,” Satan, who was their father, Jn. 8:44. There was only one thing left to do. Jesus would have to become a “human” sacrifice and let the leaders and people, under Satan, slaughter Him as they would a helpless lamb. Jesus pleaded with His Father to find another way, if possible, and to let the cup pass from Him, so They would not have to be separated, but there was no other way for the human race to realize how terrible sin was. It would take this terrible crime of killing the very Son of God to break their hearts and open their eyes. He had known it from the beginning and inspired the prophets to write about it. And yet divine love and infinite purity shrank from such a demonstration.
WAS IT GOD’S PERFECT WILL THAT HIS ONLY SON DIE?
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:6, 7. Was it God’s will that His dear Son suffer and die like that? Listen to what the Bible says, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief.” Isa. 53:10. Notice that the Father here is actually taking the blame for the suffering of His only Son. He always takes the responsibility upon Himself to protect and shield us from the guilt and remorse of sin.
No, my friend, it was not the Father’s perfect will that Jesus suffer and die on the tree, but it was God’s perfect will that all men be saved. And all men could not be saved unless Jesus suffered and died like He did. It took that much to wake man up to the enormity of sin. So God permitted the animal sacrifices, which He never commanded, to become a symbol, a shadow and a type of what Satan would eventually do to Christ Himself. But God had nothing to do with starting the animal sacrifice system. And He had to let them kill Him to stop it. All the types of the sanctuary service pointed to this terrible slaughter of God’s dear Son.
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances: for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;” Eph. 2:13-15.
In Saul’s day the prophet Samuel made this significant statement. “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” I Sam. 15:22.
And listen to Isaiah’s testimony. “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?” Isaiah 1:11, 12. God is asking, “WHO HAS REQUIRED THIS AT YOUR HANDS?” It was not our wonderful Heavenly Creator. He is not that kind of a person. There is only one person in the universe whom God has designated as a “murderer and a liar,” (John 8:44) and that is the Devil or Satan. Isaiah 27:1 calls him, “Leviathan, the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent.” Isn’t it interesting that the first part of “Leviathan,” is “LEVI” the tribe that was designated to kill the animals for the temple service?
“Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” Gen. 49:5-7.
The natural inclination of Simeon and Levi was to be cruel. They enjoyed hurting people and animals. This is the curse of the sinful, carnal nature that Adam has passed on to the human family. Only by partaking of the Divine nature can we overcome this tendency. The expression, “digged down a wall,” literally means, “they hamstrung an ox.” Evidently Simeon and Levi mutilated some cattle in this way just out of meanness. This attribute of their character made them both unfit for any kind of leadership position.
Jacob put a curse on their anger, not on them. Jacob was trying to warn his sons that their children and grandchildren would suffer as a result of their evil traits of character if they didn’t change. It wasn’t something God was going to do to them, but what they were doing to themselves. But, true to form, God claims to be doing that which man does to himself. God always shields us from the guilt.
The second time Moses numbered Israel the tribe of Simeon had become the smallest and weakest of all the tribes with only 22,200 (Num. 26:14). The father’s sinful characteristics seemed to have been passed on to many of his descendants causing them to almost be phased out. Yet, the tribe of Simeon was envisioned as the ideal Israel in Canaan in Ezek 48:24 and in Rev 7 we see that the Lord will perfect 12,000 of them to be one of the 12 tribes composing the 144,000 revealing the power of God to perfect the weakest and most perverse of his children.
God was able to bless Levi by bestowing on this tribe the Aaronic priesthood. They were scattered throughout Israel into 48 cities Joshua 21:1-42. At Sinai Levis’ descendants stood alone for the truth when the rest of the tribes bowed down to the golden calf. This is indicated by Exodus 32:26 when “all the sons of Levi,” came to Moses when He made a loyalty call. They became the executioners of the ones who persisted in worshiping the golden calf and thereby earned the right to execute the office of the priesthood in the temple. This was the Levitical or Aaronic priesthood. But when Christ came, he abolished this system, for it was a killer priesthood which did not represent His true character of love. It was had been an expression of His permissive will, not His perfect will.
“Wherefore when he (Christ) cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure…Then said he, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Heb. 10:5-7. Jesus was the first human being in a body of flesh to completely obey the Father’s law without once sinning or acting selfishly, thus proving Satan’s charges about the law completely false. Jesus brought in a new and better kind of priesthood. A temple of heart-service where God Himself dwells in the human heart and every believer is a priest, offering up thanksgiving and praise to the Father for all He has done for Him. “He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” Heb. 10:9. Compare Rev. 20:6. The law of priesthood was changed from Levi to Melchisedec. From this time forward, the tithe was to go to those preachers (PRIESTS) who were teaching the truth about God. Thus the tithe was transferred from the Jewish priests to the Christian ministers. In this last hour of earth’s history God is inspiring His people to give their tithes and offerings to the life-giving message of the Melchisedec priesthood, not to ministers who are teaching that God is a killer.
The Levitical priesthood did not make us love God more. No, it made us afraid of Him, for the human heart feared a God who required such blood and carnage. But under the Melchisedec priesthood we can draw nigh unto God without fear. “Yes, the old system of priesthood based on family lines was cancelled because it didn’t work. It was weak and useless for saving people. It never made anyone really right with God. But now we have a far better hope, for Christ makes us acceptable to God, and now we may draw near to him.” Heb. 7:1-19. LB.
Jesus was not a priest who took a sword and killed animals or human beings. He was after the order of the Melchisedec priesthood. “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” Hebrews 7 :26.
In chapter 4 of Hebrews Paul makes a stirring appeal to our hearts to come boldly into the very presence of God to “OBTAIN MERCY, AND FIND GRACE TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED.” Hebrews 4:16. We are to come BOLDLY UNTO THE THRONE OF GRACE.” Just think of what that means. It means, dear friend, that you don’t have to be afraid of God. Our HEAVENLY Father is a kind, understanding, wonderful, compassionate and loving God who wants to help us. He will never, ever hurt us. Jesus had to let us bruise and batter and bloody Him up in order for us to realize that God would never hurt or harm anyone, no matter what they do to Him. He had to go through all of that in order to establish the Melchisedec priesthood.
Jesus assured us that the Father loves us just as much as He, Himself does, but because we are so blind, stubborn and stiff-necked, we had to have a demonstration before we would believe it. “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him….. For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go the Father.” John 14:23; 16:27, 28.
WHAT IS IT THAT BRINGS ETERNAL LIFE?
The final prayer of Jesus before he went to the cross is recorded in John 17. In this chapter you will find some of the most moving and magnificent phrases in all English literature or any literature in the human language, as far as I am concerned. It is a knowledge of God, a knowledge of the Father Himself, as revealed in His only Son, Jesus Christ, that will bring salvation to any human heart. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3.
Through the prophet Hosea’s tears we can see into the Father’s broken and bleeding heart. Just as Gomer broke Hosea’s heart again and again, so Israel broke God’s heart continually all through out the OT. And finally when Jesus did come in the flesh, they rejected His wonderful love again and nailed Him to the tree. They were blind to what they were doing and to what God was really like.
“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD MORE THAN BURNT OFFERINGS. But they like men (Adam) have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.” Hosea 6:6,7. One paraphrase says, “I DON’T WANT YOUR SACRIFICES-I WANT YOUR LOVE; I DON’T WANT YOUR OFFERINGS- I WANT YOU TO KNOW ME.” LB. And that is just what Jesus said salvation was—KNOWING THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD. John 17:3. Jesus demonstrated it. The incredible truth is that from the very beginning the Father has only wanted us to come into his transforming, renewing presence so He could make us well again. But our darkened minds have been so alienated from Him that we could not understand that. Col. 1:21. Satan told Adam and Eve that God would never forgive them. So when the Father came looking for them they hid from Him. Their minds were now under the control of Satan and he is the one who put it in their minds to kill animals in order to get back into the good graces of the Father. Thus Satan was able to establish the concept of substitution in order to be ransomed or reconciled with God. This is a pagan concept. But even though this is not the real truth about God, He has dealt with us on our terms and definitions, not His definitions, for we would not listen to Him. The Father has always wanted to forgive us without a substitute, but our darkened minds could not comprehend that kind of love and forgiveness, so God has permitted us to pervert “the unspeakable gift” of His Son, 2 Cor. 9:15, into a substitutionary human, blood sacrifice. But, in this last hour of earth’s history He has promised that “the times of restitution of all things,” would come when the “times of refreshing” would arrive just before Christ returns, Acts 3:21, 19. This is no doubt the “mystery of godliness,” that will be finished in this last hour of earth’s history. And it definitely is connected with the revelation of God’s true character of love.
God came down to our level so He could bring us up to His level. The substitutionary covenant says that God, in giving Christ’s blood to buy our freedom, was simply supplying what He Himself demanded, for did He not say, “WITHOUT THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS OR REMISSION OF SINS?” Hebrews 9:22; Lev. 17:11. Who was it who brought up the idea that the law demanded a blood payment or atonement? If God is not that kind of a person, then Satan had to be the one who dreamed the whole scheme up to slander the Father’s name before the angels and the unfallen worlds. We can see from the story of the prodigal son that God does not demand repayment before he will forgive. Therefore, the whole human race have been prisoners of a bloody concept of our Creator that has absolutely nothing to do with the truth about God, His law or His system of justice. The “alienation” was not in God’s mind. Col. 1:21 makes it clear that we had separated ourselves from God.
God did not alienate or separate Himself from us. He has always wanted to take us back. But Satan lied, telling his angels and Adam and Eve that God didn’t want us back. That is the reason our Lord had to let us bloody Him up before we could see and believe that He would never hurt us. That is what it took to remove this terrible enmity and lie from our minds. The alienation was not on God’s part. Listen: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has He reconciled.” Col 1:21. Please notice beloved that the separation and alienation between God and man is because of what was in man’s mind. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed;” Gen 3:15. This was spoken by the “death god” of Gen 3.
Now, Friends, let’s talk about forgiveness. There are two distinct ways of dealing with a debt. Either it is paid or it is forgiven, one or the other. It never requires both. Now, does the Bible teach us that God forgave us of our sins or that he demanded repayment from us or from anyone? If Jesus paid our debts, as all so-called Christian religions teach, why should God have to forgive them? Which concept does the Bible teach?…That God collected payment for our debt to Him through Christ’s death or does it teach that God was able to forgive us our debts because Jesus’ death opened our eyes to the fact that God never considered us in debt to Him in the first place? It teaches the latter concept, that there is no debt to pay.
You see, the idea of a debt that must be paid to be reconciled to God is man’s idea that Satan placed in his mind after his light connection with His Creator was broken. And so the Lord had to work the entire plan of salvation around our concept of Him and what He required of us based on our confused and distorted understanding of Him. He put up with this all through the centuries and the record was never set straight until Jesus came and revealed the real truth about the Father. “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” Ephesians 4:18.
The real truth about the Father is that He has been willing and ready to forgive us at any time, but Satan has placed these bloody stumbling blocks in our minds so that we were so afraid of God we could not come to Him until Jesus came and showed us what the Father was really like. Now, we can come boldly into the Father’s presence and be renewed at any time we are willing to come to Him. Heb. 4:16. See also Micah 7:18, 19. I John 1:9.
The fear and enmity that Satan had put in Adam and Eve’s mind was finally removed from humanity’s ancestral, blood-line by Christ’s death. This is really what was abolished and nailed to the cross. Paul explains it like this:
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off [far off from God the Father and from the rest of the human family] are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Ephesians 2:1-16. “Blotting out the handwriting ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers; he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Col. 2:14, 15. Now, who are the “PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS,” that Christ “spoiled” and “made a shew of them openly.” Eph. 6:12 tells us that they are “the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Before the entire universe Jesus demonstrated the Father’s love. He did this by letting wicked men, controlled by Satan and his demons, do anything they wanted to do to Him. But Jesus never reacted with anger or hatred. The white hot love that flashed from the Father through the Son on Calvary to the ends of the universe revealed for all eternity that God is total pure love. It also exposed Satan for what he was, a liar and a murderer, John 8:44. And Jesus never called Satan a liar or a murderer because he was mad at him. He had no bitterness or vindictiveness in his heart. No. All through the O. T. the Father and His son had covered up for Lucifer but this had failed to bring him to repentance. So, now, in passionate, divine love, yearning and pity, the Father, through His Son begins to speak openly about Satan’s true character. They do this, hoping that this loving revelation of Satan’s heart and mind will bring him to a realization of his need to repent. “Oh, Lucifer, look what you have become—a liar and a murderer. Oh, please come back to Me.” But, Satan wouldn’t listen. He had hardened his heart against the Father’s love. Yet the Father did not let him die, for the complete demonstration of the effects of sin was still future. This will take place after the 1,000 years when all the lost turn upon Satan and each other. Satan will be the last one to bow and confess before the Father’s throne of Grace. Phil 2:10, 11.
In vision John saw them that “had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.” Rev. 15:1-4.
Now notice what it is that this group says, “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints…all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” Rev. 15:4. Please notice that little word “All.” That is “muy importante,” (very important) my friend.
In Phillippians 2:10, Paul tells us that “every knee” is going to someday bow down before God. Even Satan will bow down and confess and admit that the Father has always been righteous and just in all of his dealings with each one of His creatures, especially with Lucifer. Every question that has ever been raised in the great controversy between Christ and Satan has been fully, completely and satisfactorily answered. The universe is now forever secure from future rebellion. “What do ye imagine against the Lord? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:9. Never again will sin arise.